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UT’s online building plan approval system fails on Day One

UT Administration official said a technical snag developed following which it could not be made available to the public and the architects.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Published: February 13, 2018 7:04 am
The architects did not find any online portal or link despite repeatedly trying on the website (Representational Image)

The much-awaited online building plan approval system, launched by UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore last week, failed to function on Day One that is Monday.

The architects did not find any online portal or link despite repeatedly trying on the website. A UT Administration official said a technical snag developed following which it could not be made available to the public and the architects. Only six online services were being displayed on the Chandigarh Administration government website till Monday evening. These were paying electricity bills or water bills online, RTI online, UT guest house or panchayat booking online, GMSH, Sector 16 evening OPD appointments, estate office online services or submit grievances.

When clicked on the estate office online services, the portal showed just two categories – submit an application or check the status of the existing application. The submission of the application was also for only four purposes – permission to mortgage, transfer on the basis of sale deed, transfer on the basis of gift deed and transfer on the basis of transfer deed.

Surinder Bahga, an architect and former nominated councillor, kept trying till evening but didn’t find the link. “My staff, too, kept trying till evening, but the online service was not available. Officials should have made sure that it was uploaded and working efficiently and then they should have inaugurated or launched a system,” he said.

Manoj Khatri, Assistant Estate Officer, said they would send the links to the architects on Monday evening. But, neither was it uploaded on the website nor any links were sent to the architects.

During the launch of the system last Thursday, the administration had claimed that it would be made accessible to the public from February 12. It was stated that at present, the system was manual and cumbersome which would take over three months to get a building plan sanctioned. According to the facility, the process of sanctioning was to be completed in seven working days and there had to be an automatic calculation of fees based on the area deduced from plans.

For the administration, it was claimed to have an advantage of having accuracy in area and fee calculations due to the elimination of manual intervention, apart from having storage and archival of all digitised data records through this.

The laws and approval procedures were complex leading to subjectivity in interpretation, thereby resulting in delay. Various NOCs were required in manual mode from multiple agencies leading to delay, redundancy and repetition of efforts, claimed the administration last Thursday.

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